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Laptop Computer Help Please!  
User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1888 times:

I have a ~4 yr. old Dell Inspiron 8500 running Windows XP Professional...today I've been having some really weird problems starting it up...

1. When I started it up earlier this afternoon, it took me about 3 or 4 presses of the startup button to get it to actually turn on...thats never happened before...I would press it, one of the status lights would flash (the lights that show if its plugged into the AC adaptor or not), but nothing would actually happen...

2. Just now, when I started it up, it flashed a message telling me that "The System Memory has changed" and I noted that the bootup process was a little slower than it shouldve been...what the heck does this mean, and how did it happen??

Additionally, about a week ago it shut itself down, and when it rebooted, it gave me a message that it shut down because it had overheated or something like that...I remember seeing somewhere that raising the laptop off the desk by putting on some form of stubby stilts helps that problem, so I did that and that hasnt happened again...

Greg

P.S. With all these things going on, is my comp telling me its on its last legs??


Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePalladium From Indonesia, joined Apr 2005, 270 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1877 times:

uh oh, if I can say, you may have experience problem with the cooling system inside your laptop. The cooling fan may not work properly, so the your laptop got over heated and it forces your laptop to shut down by itself as pre caution in order to save your hard disk getting over heated or burnt.

I suggest you back up your entire files into usb or cd-r and get your computer into a technician to get inspected.

But I'm pretty sure it may have something to do with the cooling fan.


User currently offlinePalladium From Indonesia, joined Apr 2005, 270 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1877 times:

my friend's laptop got same problem like yours couple months ago and it cost around 200 bucks to get it fix.

User currently offlinePalladium From Indonesia, joined Apr 2005, 270 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1874 times:

but again you should run a virus check or spam check to see if your laptop is clean from virus or spam. Then if it's clear and still not working, try to format your laptop using your back up disk given by dell. If that's still not working, again maybe it's your cooling fan because that's what happened to my friend's laptop.

User currently offlineRichPhitzwell From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1865 times:

First impression was MB....but who knows. Perhaps dell has a program that will tell you what is failing...actually I’m sure they do for each laptop, but see if you can download it from their website.

Unfortunately, what you’re describing could be almost anything...ram, MB, fan...


Since its out of warrenty by now, almost anything you have to do to it will cost a large amount of money for even minor items, unless its just ram...Unless you know how to tear it apart and put it back together yourself. You may want to look into a new laptop.

Good times,


User currently offlineJetsGo From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3085 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1865 times:

USAF, send me an email at the address i messaged you. If you can, try and give as much detail as possible. From what it sounds like, you are facing a hardware issue caused by probable overheating. If that is the case, id be more than willing to help you walk through the process.


Chris



Marine Corps Aviation, The Last To Let You Down!
User currently offlineJ_Hallgren From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1507 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 1858 times:

I've got a Dell also...I'd run the Dell diagnostic utility which checks a number of things, including fan and thermal sensors, etc...you can find it on Dell site (assuming you don't have it already), and it most often runs from a set of floppies...I think it can also run from CD, but I'd not created one...


COBOL - Not a dead language yet!
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21486 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1828 times:

If it doesn't want to turn on when it's cold, it's very probably not the cooling system but probably other hardware components.

One possible cause might be that the RAM module sockets have somewhat corroded and don't have good contact any more. This would explain the shutdowns, the failure to turn on and the memory-related message: It probably failed to recognize one of the RAM modules at all.

I'd recommend to remove all the RAM modules, check the sockets for obvious dirt or damage, re-seat the RAM and check if that helps.

You might also want to try just one RAM module, then the other separately if you've got two of them; Alternating the same module between the available sockets could also give an indication if that's the problem (if there is more than one socket and if either of them can be used alone).

If you happen to have access to the same type of RAM module, you could also try replacing the RAM to check, but it's not lilkely enough to be the cause to justify buying new modules just for that.

Other potential causes could be the power regulator(s) or connector problems between the motherboard and other components...


And of course, when it's time to look for a replacement, I recommend a good look at a MacBook (Pro) - it will run both MacOS X and Windows (even concurrently if you want).


User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12256 posts, RR: 35
Reply 8, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1822 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

I had the same problem on my 5150 TWICE. Both times they replaced the motherboard due to overheating.

Quoting RichPhitzwell (Reply 4):
Since its out of warrenty by now, almost anything you have to do to it will cost a large amount of money for even minor items, unless its just ram...Unless you know how to tear it apart and put it back together yourself. You may want to look into a new laptop.

Especially considering you can get a brand new Dell for $699 for a pretty good laptop.



“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
User currently offlineCumulus From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2006, 1402 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1820 times:

Throw it out of the window and get a new one.........


What Goes Up Must Come Down, Hopefully In One Piece!
User currently offlinePanAmOldDC8 From Barbados, joined Dec 2006, 960 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1818 times:

Quoting USAFHummer (Thread starter):
I have a ~4 yr. old Dell Inspiron 8500 running Windows XP Professional...today I've been having some really weird problems starting it up...

Contact Osiris30, he is a wizz with these sorts of things



Barbados, CWC soon, can't wait
User currently offlineWSOY From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1807 times:

Have the RAM memory chip replaced. This one seems pretty evident to me. If there are several chips installed, you can try swapping one of them in and out. In some cases (haven't researched into your model) some of is fixed on the motherboard, or is located in a rather inaccessible place such as underneath the keyboard.

[Edited 2007-02-01 13:57:58]

User currently offlineYHMYYZspotter From Canada, joined Sep 2006, 197 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1797 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 7):
And of course, when it's time to look for a replacement, I recommend a good look at a MacBook (Pro) - it will run both MacOS X and Windows (even concurrently if you want).

Yea if you want to spend at LEAST $2200 Canadian to buy one of these things. Then learn to use a Mac system. Then since no one I know can fix a Mac it will ALWAYS have to take it in to be fixed if it happens to break. I think I would stick to the $1000 PC laptops.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21486 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1792 times:

Quoting YHMYYZspotter (Reply 12):
Yea if you want to spend at LEAST $2200 Canadian to buy one of these things.

$2200 canadian would already get you a high-end MacBook Pro:
The Apple Store (Canada) - MacBook Pro

If money is a major concern, simply look at the much lower-priced MacBook:
The Apple Store (Canada) - MacBook

It starts at $1249,- canadian for a full-featured laptop with a high-end 64 bit CPU which isn't crippled in any way like the cheaper PC laptops usually are. Just have a look!

Quoting YHMYYZspotter (Reply 12):
Then learn to use a Mac system.

Millions of users have already done that, realized that it's much easier to learn than Windows was - the predominant commentary is: "My only regret is that I didn't make the switch much earlier!"  Smile

Quoting YHMYYZspotter (Reply 12):
Then since no one I know can fix a Mac

You'll have no trouble finding help around here or elsewhere on the net; And although I can understand that you've lost hope by now, contrary to most other manufacturers Apple actually has a very decent support department. They are actually helpful if you need them.

Quoting YHMYYZspotter (Reply 12):
it will ALWAYS have to take it in to be fixed if it happens to break.

Macs break very rarely. I've had five of them thus far and never had to send in any of them. A faulty OEM graphics card was promptly replaced with a minimum of fuss - and that was the only defect I've had in over ten years of using Macs!

They are designed and built to last - even my oldest one still works without a hitch.

Quoting YHMYYZspotter (Reply 12):
I think I would stick to the $1000 PC laptops.

With the experiences of the PC users I know, that would be a mistake!


User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12256 posts, RR: 35
Reply 14, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1791 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

And the spokesperson for the Church of Mac is speaking again...


“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
User currently offlineWSOY From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1790 times:

At least the bolding function seems to be extremely conveniently located in the Mac.

User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21486 posts, RR: 53
Reply 16, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1779 times:

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 14):
And the spokesperson for the Church of Mac is speaking again...

Churches attempt to gain a following purely based on belief in things which cannot be substantiated.

Mac users, on the other hand, have practical experience to speak about - and since this practical experience tends to be more positive than the ones made elsewhere, they try to tell people about it.

I see people fighting daily with their PCs and I simply want to help. That's it.  Smile

Maybe he can resurrect his old laptop, maybe he'll have to look for a replacement. And in that case it will be a good idea to know what the choices are.


User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12256 posts, RR: 35
Reply 17, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1770 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Quoting Klaus (Reply 16):
Churches attempt to gain a following purely based on belief in things which cannot be substantiated.

But you still fail to substantiate why I should give up a system that works fine for another one that will make my life harder, as I am not used to it, know nobody that does, get crippled version of MSN.......



“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21486 posts, RR: 53
Reply 18, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1766 times:

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 17):
But you still fail to substantiate why I should give up a system that works fine for another one that will make my life harder, as I am not used to it, know nobody that does, get crippled version of MSN....

The overwhelming majority of those who switched have found their lives to become far easier as far as related to computing - correspondingly leaving more time for other activities.

Of course you don't have to - you just seem to have reasons which are known not to be real.


User currently offlineYHMYYZspotter From Canada, joined Sep 2006, 197 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1759 times:

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 14):
And the spokesperson for the Church of Mac is speaking again...

HAHAHA that made my day...  rotfl 

Quoting Klaus (Reply 16):
I see people fighting daily with their PCs and I simply want to help. That's it.

That must make me and most of my friends geniuses because we don't ever fight with our PC's. If you have some common sense you wont screw things up.

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 17):
But you still fail to substantiate why I should give up a system that works fine for another one that will make my life harder, as I am not used to it, know nobody that does, get crippled version of MSN.......

 checkmark  I wonder how well Microsoft Flight Simulator X and all my add-ons run on a Mac because it runs beautifully on my PC.


User currently offlineTmatt95 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 489 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1752 times:

Quoting YHMYYZspotter (Reply 19):
I wonder how well Microsoft Flight Simulator X and all my add-ons run on a Mac because it runs beautifully on my PC.

Unless you spend alot of money on a Mac you will face problems. I was warned against buying any Mac under £700 around $1,200 by the person in the Mac shop because the graphics cards are just ridiculously low specked. (I asked very recently, not old news at all)

Matt

P.S I am running Windows XP and contrary to some peoples ideas of Windows.... I have yet to see the blue screen of death or encounter a virus today... or any day


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1749 times:

Quoting Palladium (Reply 1):
uh oh, if I can say, you may have experience problem with the cooling system inside your laptop. The cooling fan may not work properly, so the your laptop got over heated and it forces your laptop to shut down by itself as pre caution in order to save your hard disk getting over heated or burnt.

I suggest you back up your entire files into usb or cd-r and get your computer into a technician to get inspected.

But I'm pretty sure it may have something to do with the cooling fan.

I had a similar event with my year old Toshiba laptop. It shut down three times one night for no reason at all, most likely overheating. A quick trip to some newsgroups found the cure and that was to clean out the dust bunnies and elevate the machine slightly.

So I took it down to the garage, fired up the compressor, and blew the dead bats and hairballs out of it. Then I took it inside and vacuumed it out. Cut a piece of 3/8 x 3 inch balsa left over from a prohect and now it sits under the monitor side set of feet.

Now, the cooling fans don't run nearly as hard or nearly as long at a stretch.

I WOULD, however, back everything up while you still can. You could be having a hardware problem that might prove fatal.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21486 posts, RR: 53
Reply 22, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1749 times:

Quoting YHMYYZspotter (Reply 19):
That must make me and most of my friends geniuses because we don't ever fight with our PC's.

The Windows pain gets chronic after a while - most people think that's just how computers are supposed to work, but that's actually not the case.

Quoting YHMYYZspotter (Reply 19):
I wonder how well Microsoft Flight Simulator X and all my add-ons run on a Mac because it runs beautifully on my PC.

Very well, as far as I'm aware. Every current Mac runs Windows natively as well if you want, including DirectX for games. More demanding games like MSFS will probably be not as nice on the smaller Macs with integrated graphics (the smaller MacBooks, the Mac mini and the smallest iMac), so you should get one of the bigger ones for that.


User currently offlineYHMYYZspotter From Canada, joined Sep 2006, 197 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1746 times:

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 21):
I had a similar event with my year old Toshiba laptop. It shut down three times one night for no reason at all, most likely overheating. A quick trip to some newsgroups found the cure and that was to clean out the dust bunnies and elevate the machine slightly.

It most likely was. The problem with laptops are that people use them in weird positions. Such as on beds and in laps (Obviously, hence the name). And often they block cooling, even though the fan blows outwards some heat is dissipated through the bottom as well. When you are using laptops on a desk its a flat surface and the little risers raise the laptop off the surface even a 1/4 of an inch works well. If it is on a bed comforter for example there is no space between. You just have to watch and make sure it is sufficiently cooled.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 22):
The Windows pain gets chronic after a while - most people think that's just how computers are supposed to work, but that's actually not the case

Oh trust me I know all about Microsoft problems seeing as how I am a systems Administrator for a Microshop shop and I run the helpdesk here too. Guess it is just something I have come to get used to. By the way MAC's are banned from our Internal network, we have no choice anyway. We've surveyed a lot of people in our building and most do not want to make the changeover anyway.


User currently offlineHalcyon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 1744 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):
become far easier as far

Klaus, we all know that it also results in excessive bolding in the user's typing though. Is it really worth it.  Yeah sure


Just kidding.  Wink If it was 4 years old I'd just get a new one, but it also depends on the applications it's going to be used for, not simply how nice you think the interface is.

It's the gaming versus work debate. Of course, with that being said, all my engineer friends here on campus use Windows for everything from MATLAB to the dragon and prefer it. They don't look nearly as chic, and everyone who uses a Mac know that they just MUST have their computers run into BSODs every two seconds, but like the heroes they are, they get by and survive.  Big grin Really though, Windows is quite fine for most people who don't want to spend a lot of money and who don't mind all the countless thousands of MS problems that you have to face every time you spend as much as ten minutes on a Windows machine. However, not being a regular Mac user, I don't seem to notice them (though I know they plague me), so I don't know what to think.

While I don't think the OS is that bad, I do have to admit that many programs MS releases seem to be quite a pain in the butt.

Lucas


25 Post contains images Dougloid : I think you overstate the difference, Klaus. It is NOT the difference between a Trabant and a Volvo, but the difference between a 1979 Ford Galaxie f
26 YHMYYZspotter : Isnt a MAC just a PC anyway if you put WIndows XP on it for the most part? The platforms are almost identical. You are basically paying a premium for
27 Post contains links YHMYYZspotter : Very interesting "competition" by CNET where they pin a MACBOOK versus a ACER Laptop in 8 rounds of testing. If anyone is interested. I was actually q
28 Post contains images KaiGywer : I have plenty of time for other activities. Like I said, I spend hours a day on Win XP, and have yet to see a single problem. Glad to help Exactly. I
29 Tmatt95 : " target=_blank>http://www.cnet.com.au/laptops/lapto...0.htm It is great to hear that. I am looking at getting an Acer next week Regards, Matt
30 Post contains links YHMYYZspotter : For some reason the link I posted didnt work. I will try again. http://www.cnet.com.au/laptops/laptops/0,239035649,240062502,00.htm
31 KaiGywer : Great site. Shows that you aren't "paying more because you get more".
32 WSOY : Haha to you Klaus. We'd love to believe you. Of course people love to show off with their expertise (or incidentally the lack of it), that's why we p
33 Post contains links Klaus : Let's continue the discussion here: Airliners.net Non Aviation: Dell Or MacBook? A Comparison
34 Post contains images WSOY : It was just getting interesting -- I was just about to get down on the bare essentials of the motives of forum posting... just trying to help
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